The Tenth Annual Fringe Festival Features Eastman Faculty, Students, and Alumni

September 9, 2021

Media only:  Katey Padden, Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator, (585)451-8492,


Eastman School of Music faculty members, students, and alumni will play a part at several different venues in and around downtown Rochester during the tenth annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, running from September 14-25, 2021.

The schedule of Fringe Festival shows taking place at Eastman venues includes:

Saturday, September 18

fivebyfive: Persevering | 5:30 PM | Hatch Recital Hall | Tickets $15:

We’ve been on a journey…there are signs of hope, but still so many challenges to face. What has helped you carry on? Explore the idea and act of perseverance with music, poetry, art, and interactive performance with fivebyfive. This creative quintet returns with its first live, in-person show since March 2020 with the world premiere of “Persevering” by Joe Jaxson. Plus, personal experiences shared by the audience will be woven into the performance in real time.

fivebyfive consists of flutist Laura Lentz, clarinetist Marcy Bacon ’08 (DMA), guitarist Sungmin Shin ‘11(MM) ’18 (DMA), bassist Eric Polenik ’06 (MM), and pianist Haeyeun Jeun ‘08 (MM) ’16 (DMA).


The following are additional shows in the tenth annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival which feature Eastman performers—faculty, students and alumni—in other venues:

Tuesday, September 14

BIODANCE/Elemental Forces | 8 PM | The Theater @ Innovation Square | Tickets: $14, Students (with ID): $10, Kids 12 and under: FREE

*Additional performance Saturday, September 18 at 6 PM:

BIODANCE/Missy Pfohl Smith, Dave Rivello Ensemble, and W. Michelle Harris collaboratively create a multi-sensory performance, premiering an interwoven tapestry of dance, sound, and media influenced by natural elements and forces now catapulting beyond human control. This all-new follow-up to sold-out shows from Fringes past will dynamically consider climate catastrophe as it parallels rising human-to-human conflicts in our world, looking to humanity for a future of hope.

The Dave Rivello Ensemble was formed in 1933 by Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media, Dave Rivello ’89 (MM). The 12-piece ensemble includes a standard jazz rhythm section (piano, bass, drums), three reed players, and six brass (including flugelhorn and tuba). The scope of Rivello’s music encompasses the jazz tradition and modern classical music, creating a unique blend of improvised and notated music.

Saturday, September 18

Andrew Flory- Classical Guitar | 12 PM | Made on State: The Commons | Tickets $5

*Additional performances: Sunday, September 19 at 2 PM and Friday, September 24 at 8 PM

Andrew Flory is a classical guitarist currently working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies with Nicholas Goluses. Andrew received his Master’s degree in 2020 from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and, while living abroad, had the opportunity to perform in Scotland, Spain, and Ireland. You can find videos, recordings, and learn more about Andrew at

Sunday, September 19

Sequoia Reed Quintet | 8 PM | CenterStage Theatre at the JCC: Dawn Lipson Canalside Stage | Tickets: $15, Students (with ID): $12, Kids 12 and under: $12- Kids 1 and under are FREE

*Additional performance Thursday September 23 at 7:30 PM

Join the award-winning Sequoia Reed Quintet for a concert of exciting classical and pop-inspired music. Featuring an eclectic combination of woodwind instruments, Sequoia achieves a sound that highlights both the power and beauty of classical music. From the ocean cliffs of Scotland to the Big Top, and from the baroque French Court to the Redwood forests, Sequoia will take you on a journey to the fringes of the genre. Check out their Instagram @SequoiaReeds or on YouTube and Facebook!

The innovative Sequoia Reed Quintet is made up of oboist Gwen Goodman ’22, clarinetist Johnny Wang ’23, saxophonist Trevor Chu ’22, bass clarinetist Lucas Slavin ‘23, and bassoonist Harrison Short ’22.

Sunday, September 19

Poulenc: La Voix Humaine | 7:30 PM | MuCCC  | Tickets: $15

Alone in her apartment, Elle desperately clings to life with the telephone as the only connection to her former lover. Between dropped calls and wrong numbers, she speaks with him and reveals her anxiety-ridden anguish over his abandonment. She admits her attempted suicide the previous evening and we witness her last words. 

Soprano Kerri Lynn Slonimski, as “Elle,” and pianist Alex Kuczynski ‘14 (MA) bring Poulenc’s tragic operatic monodrama to life. Sung in French with English translation provided.

Tuesday, September 21

Motown, PopStyle! | 8 PM | The Theater @ Innovation Square | Tickets: $10, Kids 12 and under: FREE

Do you remember? The 21st night of September…it’s the night that Rochester’s hottest new band, PopStyle, whose ten members include trumpeter Natalie Rivera ‘10 (MM), ’14 (DMA), will take the stage for an evening of Motown, classic Soul, and R&B. Whether you grew up with Aretha, Stevie, Marvin, and the rest of Motown’s best or just love to groove to the rhythm section and sound of the horns, PopStyle plays the hits that leave you feeling good! Check them out on social media @popstyleband.

Wednesday, September 22

Róisín Dubh | 7:30 PM | CenterStage Theatre at the JCC: Dawn Lipson Canalside Stage | Tickets: $10

For two decades, the musicians of East Rochester High School’s Róisín Dubh have brought their unique style of high-energy Irish music to audiences in western New York and beyond. Heard on NPR’s famous “Thistle & Shamrock,” Róisín Dubh has performed more than 400 times, released four albums, and shared the stage with some of the top Irish musicians from our region and the world. They are excited to celebrate their 20th anniversary at the 2021 Rochester Fringe Festival.

 Mark Gowman ’07E (MM) is the creator and director of Róisín Dubh.

Thursday, September 23

Brazilian Forró with Estrelas do Norte | 7 PM | Java’s Cafe | Tickets: FREE

The North Stars Forró Band brings the upbeat, down-home music of northeastern Brazil to this year’s Fringe. You might describe “forró” as Brazilian cowboy music, but with the irresistible rhythms you’d expect from a Latin-American folk tradition. Enjoyfancy fiddling, tight vocal harmonies, and ample opportunity for audience participation from Darien Lamen on vocals and cavaquinho, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology Anaar Desai-Stephens on violin, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Jennifer Kyker on vocals and percussion, Eastman Community Music School Faculty Ken Luk on bass, and Dominic Marini on zabumba.

On Demand Streaming: September 14 – September 21

Opera is MAD! | $10

Rochester opera collective ROCopera presents the best opera has to offer: arias filled with rage, torment, and ecstasy by Mozart, Handel, Verdi, and more. Singers include Pablo Bustos ‘03, ‘05 (MM), Nicholas Kilkenny ‘14 (MA), ’18 (DMA), and Yvonne Trobe ‘16 (MM), accompanied by pianist Yoshiko Arahata ‘15, ‘18 (DMA).


For more information on Eastman and University of Rochester participation in the festival, visit:

Tickets for all Fringe events, as well as more information on the Rochester Fringe Festival, are available on the festival website Tickets can also be purchased by phone at (585) 957-9837, or in person at the Fringe Box Office, One Fringe Place, located across from the Eastman Theatre on the corner of Main & Gibbs Streets, Rochester, NY 14604.


The three-semester-long Eastman Centennial celebration will begin in Fall 2021 and continues throughout 2022. Highlights include acclaimed guest artists performing alongside Eastman’s ensembles; national academic and music conferences; alumni events throughout the country; a documentary being produced in partnership with WXXI, and more. Pillar events include: “Opening of the Doors,” a community-driven celebration scheduled for March 3-6, 2022; “100 concerts to celebrate 100 years”; and a Meliora Weekend celebration in Fall 2022.

For up-to-date information on the Eastman Centennial, including feature stories, future events, videos, testimonials, ways to engage, and more, please visit our Centennial website at

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About Eastman School of Music:

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training.

More than 900 students are enrolled in the Collegiate Division of the Eastman School of Music—about 500 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. They come from almost every state, and approximately 23 percent are from other countries. They are taught by a faculty comprised of more than 130 highly regarded performers, composers, conductors, scholars, and educators. They are Pulitzer Prize winners, Grammy winners, Emmy winners, Guggenheim fellows, ASCAP Award recipients, published authors, recording artists, and acclaimed musicians who have performed in the world’s greatest concert halls. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 900 concerts to the Rochester community. Additionally, more than 1,700 members of the Rochester community, from young children through senior citizens, are enrolled in the Eastman Community Music School.

About the University of Rochester:

The University of Rochester is one of the nation’s leading private research universities, one of only 62-member institutions in the Association of American Universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives undergraduates exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.